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Living in Victory

My Post (47)
Joshua 6:1-20

Seven times on the seventh day the children of Israel marched around the city. The seven priests marching before the ark of the Lord blew their trumpets and the people shouted and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. They marched into the city and destroyed every living thing. It was a victory that some say could not happen. It was a victory that some people today deny could happen. They cannot understand how the Biblical account of the destruction of such a strong city could even be true. But the story of Joshua and Jericho teach us some valuable lessons:

  1. Who’s In Control——–V. 1-2, 16

Joshua was given the leadership of the children of God and he would lead them into the promised land. The entrance had already been divine as they crossed the Jordan River on dry ground much like their parents crossed the Red Sea on dry ground 40 years earlier. Taking that first step into the promised land was a great victory.

Joshua new the first battle would be Jericho and that as a city it was strong. He had already had two spies check out the city and now it was time to plan the attack. Joshua 6:1-2, 16 will tell you the greatest point I will make in this lesson on victory: you need to be on the Lord’s side, the Lord on yours. Never forget who is in control.

Just a reminder, it took 40 years to enter this promised land. The last time this opportunity was offered by God, 12 spies had gone into the land and 10 of them said, “we can’t do it!” They were told of their sin and the 10 were killed by God. The people said they would go, but Moses told them that God was no longer with them. In their presumption they went to battle – and lost.

Understand that unless you are on God’s side, nothing else matters in the spiritual life of victory. Many times, I have asked God to be with me, but maybe I ought to be asking if I can be with him, no matter where He is. Living with God may take me through some stormy weather, it may take me onto a glorious mountain, but where God is, is where I want to be, for there is victory.

  1. Doing It His Way——–V. 3-7
  2. To live in victory is to live with God. To live with God means to live as he directs. God doesn’t always direct like we think. How many major battle plans involve marching around a city carrying a box and blowing trumpets and having people shout?

If you are going to live in victory it will require of you to walk in the pathway of faith. It takes us humbly submitting ourselves to God before God lifts us up. Sometimes I forget the humbly submitting part and just want God to pick me up and be on my side.

Our victorious life should be based upon doing the will of the Father and not ourselves. That means get beyond you and into God. Will God way always make sense? Do you not think that walking around a city sounded foolish to some? I don’t have to understand God will in order to be victorious, I just have to do it by faith.

That means taking what you learn from God through the Bible and putting it into action. Many of us hear great classes or lessons that prick our hearts, but instead of letting the guilt motivate us we wallow in self-pity. Get up, get to work, and start going God’s direction instead of your own. Let me tell you from my own personal experience, I am not very good at life’s directions.

III. Victory Belongs to Him——–V. 20-21

The challenge of a victorious life is to be the winner in the end. The way to be the winner is to fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith. For it is then that the Lord will give you the crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:7-8). It takes being faithful unto death, as John tells the church in Smyrna, and then you will get the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

Dr. Alan Redpath in his commentary on Joshua suggests that many people don’t see the answers to their prayers simply because they have stopped one round short in their conquest of their personal Jericho. We may have been doing the right things, but we simply stop doing them.

Living in victory means you don’t quit. Do you remember the old song that said, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden, along with sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometime.” I believe the same can be said about the Christian life. It is not always easy, it is not always spiritual high’s, it is not always Sunday. Sometimes the Monday morning blues come. Sometimes the pain comes into life. Sometimes it’s hard. Live in victory and don’t quit.

Conclusion

Today an attitude change can begin in your life. God wants you to live with the faith and power that may have been missing in your spiritual life. As John put it, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Are you ready to overcome? Are you ready to live? Are you ready to be victorious? Live in the victory that God gives. 

Pastor John Punni

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The Four -Minute Mile

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     Edwin Friedman, famous writer and sociologist, explains that for the longest time in the racing world no one could run the mile in four minutes or less. Many great runners had tried it. The great Swedish runners such as Gunder Haag and Arnie Anderson couldn’t break it. Many sports writers were beginning to think it wasn’t possible  for a human being to break that record.
      Then on May 6, 1954 at Oxford University, an Englishman named Robert Bannister broke the record. Two months later Bannister did it again. Over two decades later John Walker from New Zealand became the first man to run the mile under 3:50. American Steve Scott holds the record now with 136 sub-four-minute miles, and Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco holds the record for the fastest mile run at 3:43.13.
     Friedman points out that something called “the emotional barrier” was broken with Bannister’s 1954 run. Once that happened more and more runners began to believe that the four-minute mile was possible, and consequently more people began to run it. In 1994, an African runner beat a world record. One of his running-mates was interviewed afterwards by eager reporters amazed by what his mate did, and of his friend the fellow African runner said, “He is not caught up in the mythology of Wester runners.” What’s possible is limited by what was imagined to be possible.
     Friedman’s point was not that anyone can break a running record if he or she just puts his or her mind to it. His point is that we are often shackled by our own limited imaginations, what he calls “an emotional barrier”. This barrier can lower our expectations and cause us to miss all that is truly possible. I believe that the Church is often limited by this emotional barrier: a limited view of what God is able to do in our lives, communities, cities, and world. We don’t expect much from God, and we don’t expect much to happen through us. So nothing much happens.
     Jesus expected much more for His Church. He sent the disciples out, commanding them without batting an eye to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers, and proclaim the Kingdom (Matthew 10:7-8). He was heard saying things like “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27) and “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greaterthings than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 12:12). God is after all the God of ninety-nine year-old Abraham, timid Moses, and young David all through which we see God do extraordinary things in seemingly impossible circumstances. God tends to be most active where people are more open and expectant to God’s supernatural work. These “greater things” Jesus speaks of may not make us look like world-beaters in the eyes of others, and these things may not happen instantly or perhaps even in our lifetime; but God will accomplish the vision and passions we let Him place deep within us.
     What if God intends to transform the schools around us in radical ways or the run-down apartment complex up the street or the lives of our homeless friends with cardboard signs or our own hurts and addictions? We know from the Scriptures that these are exactly the types of things God is in the business of doing, yet the problem might be our own limited and stunted expectation.
      Try praying this: “Lord, what do you want to do? Show me. Amen.”
By Chris Symes
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Who’s On Your List?

By Pastor Chris Symes

So, who’s on your list?

The question is not “what” is on your list? So, I’m not talking about a to-do list or a grocery list.

Who is on your list?

The “who” I’m talking about are those people in your circles who have not yet become followers of Jesus, those who have yet to repent and believe in the saving work of Christ, those who have not yet come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The “who” I’m talking about are those people you know who have not come to know the love of a Father in heaven, those who are not Christians, those who are lost and in need of a Savior, who might be a coworker, who might be a neighbor, who might be an uncle or sister.

And the “list” I’m talking about is a prayer list of these “who’s”. A short list of names (two or three), real people, you are bringing before the Father consistently each week or each day even. This is a list of persons, specific names, you are praying over for two things. First, pray that they would have an “awakening moment” in which they somehow have a profound encounter with the love of Christ or recognize their need to get their life right with God. Second, pray that those on this list would have a “believing moment” in which they are truly ready to turn from their old way of living life and center their whole life around Jesus and surrender to Him, beginning their journey of discipleship.

Who’s on your list?

We often underestimate the significance of prayer in evangelism, but prayer and evangelism are intimately tied together. I am becoming convinced that we have such a hard time sharing our faith evangelistically because we do not first pray. By prayer, we not only ask God to work and move in the lives of those we are praying for, but it
also prepares our hearts to be ready and open to sharing our faith with them. Many of us (including myself) often struggle with sharing our faith, even with those we know, because of fears of awkwardness or rejection. As we commit to praying for these people, God pours His love into our hearts and that love begins to overcome our fear. Beau Crosetto, on page 23 of his book Beyond Awkward, writes, “God is calling you to reach specific people he wants to be in relationship with. People you are perfectly designed or positioned to reach-even though you don’t know the Bible inside out, or your testimony isn’t smooth, or whatever you feel excludes you from being used by God in this way.” Are you praying for these people? Are these people on your list?

Who’s on your list?